Rogge: 2004 retesting won't yield flood of cases

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By RAF CASERT, Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) — IOC President Jacques Rogge does not expect a "flood of positive cases" when the Olympic body retests doping samples from the 2004 Athens Games before they are destroyed this summer.

The International Olympic Committee has previously retested samples from the 2006 Winter Games in Turin and 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.

"The doping tests in 2004 in Athens were already very sophisticated," Rogge said Monday. "Naturally, we will test them again to study all the possibilities."

The Beijing retests caught five athletes for use of CERA, an advanced version of the blood-boosting drug EPO. Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain was retroactively stripped of his gold medal in the 1,500 meters.

"I don't think that the situation is comparable to the cases we retested after Beijing," Rogge told reporters at Belgium's national Olympic committee.

Doping samples from each Olympics are stored for eight years to allow for them to be reanalyzed once new testing methods are validated. The eight-year period for Athens will expire Aug. 29, the date the games closed in 2004.

The Athens samples are stored at the doping lab in Lausanne, Switzerland.

"I do not expect a flood of positive cases — although one can never be fully sure," Rogge said.

The move to retest comes after the World Anti-Doping Agency sent a letter to the IOC requesting that the samples be checked again based on the emergence of new testing methods since 2004.

The Athens Games produced a record 26 doping cases, more than double the previous Olympic high of 12 at Los Angeles in 1984. Six medalists, including two gold winners, were caught in Athens from among 3,600 tests.

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